- World Hospice and Palliative Care
Day is observed on the second Saturday of October
- Palliative care aims to provide
relief from the pain, symptoms, and stress of a serious illness
- Hospice care focuses on relieving
symptoms when a person living with a serious illness approaches the end of
and Palliative Care Day initiated by the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care
Alliance is a global day of action to celebrate and support hospice and
palliative care. The day is observed on the second Saturday of October every
year. This year, the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is celebrated on
the 14th of October with the theme Universal Health Coverage and Palliative
Care: Don't Leave Those Suffering Behind!
About World Hospice and Palliative Care Day
The word hospice
is a Latin word "hospitium" which means guesthouse, referring to a place of
shelter for weak and sick travelers returning from religious pilgrimages. In
the 1960s, Dr. Cicely Saunders, British Physician began the modern hospice
movement by establishing St. Christopher's Hospice near London. A team was
organized at St. Christopher's for professional caregiving. This was the first
program to use modern pain management techniques to care for people with
chronic illness. In 1974, the first hospice in the United States was
established in New Haven, Connecticut. Currently, there are more than 4,200
hospice programs in the US, including Puerto Rico and Guam.
‘The theme for World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2017 is ‘Universal Health Coverage and Palliative Care: Don’t Leave Those Suffering Behind!’’
The Need for Hospice and Palliative Care
About 40 million
people need palliative care every year, including 20 million at the end of
life. Globally, in about 42% of the countries, there is no availability of
palliative care. Nearly 18 million people die in avoidable pain and stress.
chronic illness are likely to spend a lot of money on treatment, care services,
and travel. These expenses can lead to financial risk and palliative care can
reduce financial burden driven by a life-threatening illness. Hospice and
palliative care aim to improve the quality of life of patients, their families
and carers facing life-threatening illness.
More than 75% of
the world's population lacks adequate access to the medications needed to treat
their pain. Pain management is essential to hospice, and palliative care and
organizations like Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance improve access to
medications for pain management. Hospice and palliative organizations look
after the physical, psychological, social, practical, legal and spiritual needs
of the person and their family.
Universal Health Coverage and Palliative Care:
Don't Leave Those Suffering Behind!
is an essential, defining part of the Universal Health Coverage (promotive,
preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services). Universal
Health Coverage (UHC) is for all the people and communities. Governments across
the world have committed to achieving UHC as part of the Sustainable
Development Goals. Thus UHC should include palliative care to ensure that
people do not suffer financial hardship.
Hospice and Palliative Care Day aims to raise awareness and funds to support
and develop hospice and palliative care services. The day encourages local,
national and international hospice and palliative care providers and
organizations to position palliative care as part of UHC.
occur through paying for expensive treatments that are not covered by the
country's health systems. The theme highlights that palliative care is an
essential service and a defining feature of UHC.
As access to
healthcare increases, certain groups are often left behind, and these are the
poorest living in rural areas, sex workers and drug users. Thus the theme
"Don't leave those suffering behind,' highlights the importance of palliative
must be integrated into the healthcare system to ensure that no one is left
behind. People who need palliative care have some the greatest healthcare
needs. The aim of the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is that no-one
should face destitution and poverty paying for expensive medical treatments.
Facts and Statistics on Palliative Care
- Palliative care aims to provide
relief from the pain, symptoms, and stress of chronic illness
- Palliative care aims to improve
quality of life for both the patient and their family
- Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, renal disease, Parkinson's and
Alzheimer's disease are the most commonly treated illnesses by palliative
- Palliative care is appropriate at
any age and any stage of illness
- Hospice is also known as end of
- Hospice care has been used for
diseases that have a high burden for caregivers such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and kidney disease
- Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance - (http://www.thewhpca.org/about-us-3)
- About World Hospice and Palliative Care Day - (http://www.thewhpca.org/about)
- World Hospice and Palliative Care Day theme announced - (http://www.thewhpca.org/latest-news/item/world-hospice-and-palliative-care-day-theme-announced)
- World Hospice and Palliative Care Day - (http://www.who.int/cancer/events/palliative_care_day/en/)
- World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2017 - (https://www.gov.za/speeches/world-hospice-and-palliative-care-day-2017-16-nov-2016-1411)
- Hospice and Palliative Care Awareness Week - (http://patchsa.org/hospice-and-palliative-care-awareness-week/)